Rachel Zoe needs no introduction. She is by far among the most powerful woman in fashion today and has revolutionized the world of styling and just doesn’t stop impressing me with her endless accomplishment. I often marvel at the growth of Rachel Zoe, Inc. and can’t keep up with her daily additions to her world. She truly has it all, a brilliant career, an adoring husband, an adorable baby son and the charm, wit and kindness to lure anyone into her world. She is the crown jewel in the crown that is Hollywood style and most importantly, I consider her amongst my closest friends.
While Rachel needs no introduction, she does need to travel and travel she does…below are just a few tidbits into the world of Rachel and let me tell you it is a world I am happy to be in and a world that is a better place with Rachel shining upon us.
pack everything in plastic bags to prevent wrinkles
Q: Rachel my love, you are known as an over packer; I must be forthcoming and tell you that we have the photos to prove it. And, since I’ve travelled with you, I know this to be true. But, what fascinates me, is that each article of your clothing could fit on a doll and must only take up a micro section of your suitcase…what gives? So, between us, two weeks in Paris for fashion week…how many outfit changes? Two weeks in New York, how many shoes and how many bags — ballpark figure — don’t be shy?
A: Let me ask you this… who loves options more than a stylist? No one! I always want to feel like I have enough options to choose from when deciding on my look, and I pack in the vein that there are 2 outfits per day — it is always the case that more is more. Don’t get me started on winter; it is a much more intense pack than Spring — the furs and jackets take up almost 2 suitcases alone! On top of that, there are boots and sweaters and scarves that all have to come with me as well!
Q: You once told me to pack everything in plastic bags to prevent wrinkles — I listened and it works! Just like with animals, there is a leader of the pack and you are the head of the Team Zoe Pack, but when it comes to your packing…how many from the Zoe Pack are actual packers? Does a trip to Paris mean all hands on deck with your closet as command central and your entire office ironing, folding, sorting and plastic bagging? How much preparation time does it take? Are we talking hours, days or weeks?
A: It’s definitely a process, but one that I have mastered over the years. I have a system, and once you understand the system, it’s really not that complicated. A few years back we coined the term, “greatest hits.” At the time, this meant my 15 favorite pieces of jewelry that I would wear more often than any others. They were included in every pack. The term has since expanded into coats, shoes, scarves, and sunnies… If nothing else, it gets the process started.
Q: We were lucky enough to, once again, ring in the New Year this past December in St. Barths. However, after we arrived on the island you tweeted, “Just love when you start a much needed vacation and AA loses my luggage…good times.” Sadly, when the clock struck midnight, your beloved vintage Tom Ford for Gucci leather bomber was on someone else’s back, and your flowing Missoni caftans were probably cut in half to become cropped tops for some fashion wannabe. Did the airline ever reunite you with your luggage or do anything to make amends? What will you do next time — FedEX? [I suggest not naming AA twice and just say ‘the airline’ …]
A: No, AA never found my suitcase! I can’t even think about it, it literally makes me cry. It’s not even about the value of each piece. It is what was inside the suitcase, the memories. I mean, I lost caftans that I wore on my honeymoon, things I wore to my first Cannes film festival, gifts from designers; things that were irreplaceable! These memories are why I have an emotional attachment to my clothes.
Q: The Ritz Paris is in my top three favorite hotels in the world. I love the heritage, the service, the location and just about everything from the swan faucets to the pool to the old fashioned bellhop buttons. Coco Chanel is among an elite group who have been able to call the Ritz home. I know you are as much a Francofile as I am, so if I told you to pack your bags, grab your little Skyler and Rodger, and check into the Ritz (leaving the stress of work in LA), how long could you stay — really?
A: Oh my God, don’t tease me! In a dream, I would stay forever. In reality, I would need to learn French.
I recommend that you pack on thin hangers
Q: Your book, Style A to Zoe, is filled with page upon page of the valuable and clever insider advice as well as unbelievable access to what I love most — your lexicon of creating a style of your very own. The book also includes packing tips and secrets. Before I let you go, what’s the number one (never forget) secret?
A: Well, there are a few things that go into the “perfect pack.” First, I recommend that you pack on thin hangers. I also always separate my shoes and bags into one suitcase, and my clothes and scarves into another. Always put the heaviest pieces on the bottom, and finally, alternate hangers. I learned that trick very early in my styling career — it makes zipping your suitcase shut just slightly easier.